The Jakarta Post
Vice President Jusuf Kalla has called on the European Union to stop its negative campaign against palm oil products based on environmental issues.
“It is a matter of trade competition. But they use environment issues,” said the Vice President as quoted by Trade Minister Enggartiasto “Enggar” Lukita after accompanying Kalla to meet with Italian Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda in Jakarta on Tuesday, as reported by tempo.co.
During the meeting, Enggar said Kalla assured Calenda that Indonesia had high commitments to protect the environment.
Enggar said he also expressed concern over the issuance of the EU resolution although it was not binding for members of the union. He said he told Calenda that Indonesia had been treated unfairly by the negative campaign.
On April 4, the EU parliament issued a resolution to only import sustainable oil palm products after 2020. The resolution also called for a single sustainability standard, although Indonesia already has its own Sustainable Palm Oil standard.
Enggar said Calenda’s visit to Indonesia was part of the country’s effort to improve its trade relations with the largest Southeast Asian country. The value of trade relations between the countries decreased by 9.4 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. Indonesian posted a trade surplus of US$200 million, last year.
“They (Italy) want more balance trade. We welcome their idea,” said Enggar, adding that his Italian counterpart asked Indonesia to use more technology products from the country, such as machinery for the leather industry. (bbn)